Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jan 2015
Source: Record, The (Troy, NY)
Copyright: 2015 The Record
Author: Eric Hafner


New Jersey's system of medical marijuana regulation, which requires 
all patients to obtain a state-issued patient identification card to 
possess and purchase medical marijuana, in tracked sales, is unconstitutional.

Federal law still criminalizes marijuana. New Jersey medical 
marijuana patients must not be forced to incriminate themselves 
federally in order to obtain their medicine and be protected from 
prosecution under state medical marijuana statutes.

In 1969, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal 
Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 on the grounds that payment of the tax was 
a violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination 
(Leary v. US).

It is fine if the State of New Jersey wishes to offer voluntary 
patient registration. But forcing patients to create criminal 
evidence against themselves that could later be used against them in 
a federal prosecution, to be able to purchase state-legal medical 
marijuana and have a defense against state-level marijuana charges, 
is blatantly unconstitutional.

A valid physician's recommendation is the only document that should 
be required for a patient to be protected under New Jersey's 
Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

New York should take note of this legal conflict and avoid repeating 
the same mistakes in its medical marijuana program.

- -Eric Hafner Toms River, New Jersey
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